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Daria Ocean | California | Challenging Time!

Alex (my husband) and I have always wanted to work on a project together ever since we got married August 8, 2011. We had so many brainstorming nights. One of our experiences as a couple was traveling overseas - trying new stuff including surfing and unique cuisines etc. Every time we came back home we often try to find a place that reminds us about our unique travel experience. All my husband was looking for is finding his own perfect burger and vegan joint. Moving forward, we decided to create a place where we would be able to share our own recipes - acquired travelling overseas. May 23, 2014, we opened WAVE using our own savings. It turned out that we started a new niche - gourmet natural burgers. We made and still making every recipe ourselves – buns, sauces, patties, everything. The first location was small (about 30 seats), it was in surf style. We served just 4 burgers – Classic Wagyu Burger, Chicken Burger, Kamchatka Burger (with crab cake and mango based sauce on a special black bun), Vegan Burger; couple salads; desserts; homemade lemonades; coffee/tea. Our team was just 2, accountant, 1 cook and 1 dishwasher/cleaner. Gradually Wave grew up – we added beer and cider, more unique burgers such as Black Wagyu Burger with homemade black cheese and black sauce on an artisan black bun; our famous 3 kg / 6.6 lb Killer Size Burger and others. Check out Instagram #wave_burgers #wave_poke #killersizeburgerbywave. In 2014 WAVE was voted the ”best burger restaurant” by Time Out, 2015 WAVE got the Certificate of Quality by Yell, in 2016 – 2018 WAVE received the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor. WAVE has a high rating on Google, Foursquare, etc. Travellers from around the world have put WAVE on their “must visit” list.

I am grateful for the journey and to have the pleasure to work side by side with my husband (Alex). In March 27, 2019 our brand celebrated its 5th Birthday. We’re so excited about it and our new adventure with all of you. What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?

Every hard situation we considered as an inalienable part of the business process or as a challenge that we should go through. It was and still like an adventure. Mood of our life is kinda “if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you”.

What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read? I like to read books by other entrepreneurs where they share their way to success. For example, Richard Branson is very inspiring. Also, I recommend reading ‘Follow Your Heart’ by Australian psychologist and illustrator Andrew Matthews, Chan Kim "Blue Ocean Strategy", Chris McGoff "The Primes: How any group can solve any problem", Jim Collins "Good To Great", Jean-Claude Larreche "The Momentum Effect". Now I’m listening to a book by John Robbins ‘The Food Revolution: how your diet can save your life and our world.’ After it, I’m planning to read or to listen to Peter Thiel "Zero To One".

Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?

How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight? I can say that Alex and I are lucky ones because our family and true friends always support us, believe in us. It’s a blessing!

What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success? To be honest, I don't consider our business as successful yet but we're working hard for it. What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?

No matter how good your team is, your business is a reflection of you. You should trust people but you have to be always ready that someone can let you down at the most challenging time.

What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?

You always should make things easier. No matter how enormous and unsolvable your problems seem to be it’s only your perception on it. Every drama in your life is a unique experience that helps you grow. So enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible. And remember that the big secret in life is: THERE IS NO SECRET. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.

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